George Moore lived long enough to read, if he could have borne to read it, Hardy's summing of the whole matter:

Pain to all upon earth, tongued or dumb, shall be kept down to a minimum by loving kindness, operating through scientific knowledge, and actuated by the modicum of free will conjecturally possessed by organic life when the mighty necessitating forces--unconscious or other--that have 'the balancings of the clouds' happen to be in equilibrium, which may or may not be often.

The rustic, Cyclopean, phrasing is all Hardy. But the thought is the thought of one who had grown to manhood in the rich golden noon of nineteenth-century England and, through a long afternoon, had watched the horizon receding as the light faded and the colours paled.


NEWMAN AGAIN

ONCE for some dreary and self-denying purpose I read many books on education--not method, which is not my concern, or the psychology of childhood, which interests me deeply, but Education with a big and gloomy E. I came to the conclusion that if two were kept, the rest might, with no loss to humanity and possibly some advantage, be pulped. Because these two go to the point and stay there: the point being, what are you after with all this teaching, and preaching, and training? With your rewards and punishments, your social pressure and economic inducements, your praise and blame? What are you trying to do, or, better still, to make? What product does your art profess to deliver? Is it attractive? Is it estimable? Is it useful to society as it is, or likely by influence, or direction, or example, to improve society? Above all, is it worth while to the product's self? And unless you can answer that question, it seems to me you had better hold your tongue.

One of these books is Aristotle's Ethics, and the other is Newman's nine discourses on The Idea of a University. In the first four he is in the cell, speaking, we may say, confessionally;

-142-

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Victorian Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 1
  • Victorian Centenary 13
  • The Age of Tennyson 46
  • Eyes and No Eyes 70
  • Thackeray 74
  • Mr and Mrs Dickens 79
  • The Schoolman in Downing Street1the Two Mr Gladstones, by G. T. Garratt. 82
  • Mr Gladstone 90
  • The Happy Family 110
  • The Greatest Victorian 116
  • The Mercian Sibyl 129
  • The Victorian Noon-Time 133
  • Sophist and Swashbuckler 142
  • The Faith of The Grandfathers 146
  • Tempus Actum 153
  • B. A. Kohnfeldt 158
  • Katherine Stanley And John Russell 162
  • Maitland 173
  • Topsy 178
  • The New Cortegiano 183
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